Bees are precious and critical to our food supply. So what should you do if an unexpected swarm visits your property?

“You’re rather lucky to have had a swarm of bees appear in your yard,” said Jack Stone of Bee One Third. “It’s an omen in Eastern culture for wealth, prosperity and growth.” 

I was a bit humbled and more of a realist when I let Jack know the European bees had voluntarily moved into a crevice at the base of my poinciana tree in my suburban Brisbane yard, back in 2016.

When I pointed out they could have swarmed into any neighbouring gardens, he was insistent.

“Quite possibly, but just think of their options, they could have swarmed into any of the surrounding blocks too. You’re special to them, they knew you’d save them through a beekeeper.”

Image of a beekeeper in a protective suit and veil scraping a swarm off bees from a brick wall
George Paterdis brushes the remaining bees into the temporary box. Image credit Jennifer Johnston

The bees chose me

Thanks Jack, I like to think that all these years of having random bees fly into my kitchen at night time was for something.

Bees operate around the light, they wake up with the sun and go to sleep with the moon,” Jack explained. “They use the sun during the day as a compass. At night-time bees may crawl out of the hive if they see an artificial light. They will make a beeline for that light and buzz around it because they think it is their sun.  Be conscious of this and close your windows or draw your curtains at night-time if you have bees nearby.”

 Every good beekeeper knows maintaining bees takes work. And not every swarm of bees will survive.

Here is my bee story published in The Guardian:

Save the queen, save the hive: how to live in harmony with bees

Image of a beekeepr wearing protective gear attending to a geehive
George Paterdis checks on the relocated Queen bee and her hive Photograph: Jennifer Johnston